Defend democracy in the South.

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The outcome of this year's state Supreme Court election in North Carolina has important implications for the future of criminal justice. Incumbent Justice Sam Ervin (left), a Democrat, is facing a challenge from Republican Trey Allen (second from left), general counsel for the state Administrative Office of the Courts. Court of Appeals Judges Lucy Inman (second from right), a Democrat, and Richard Dietz (right), a Republican, are vying for an open seat. (Official state photos.)